What Can A 1970s Farmers’ Uprising Against An Energy Transition Teach Us?

If the United States is to make a transition to clean energy, it will need to build many more transmission lines—the thick wires that deliver power from rural areas, where there’s enough open space for wind and solar, to cities where the most power is consumed.

But the process of building those lines is likely to be fraught with conflict and delays, because people in rural and suburban communities often don’t want to see wires and tall metal towers in their backyards.

Clean energy advocates say that power companies need to do more to understand what fuels public opposition and how best to engage with power line opponents. And one way to start, they say, might be to examine one of the most intense battles over an interstate power line in U.S. history, which unfolded across rural Minnesota for much of the 1970s.

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The WTO Threatens The Farmers’ Victory — Unless We Resist

The ministerial level meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will take place from November 30 to December 3. Generally, during such meetings, imperialist countries pressure developing countries to abolish their agricultural subsidies according to the policies of “free trade.” The new agricultural laws [the BJP’s neoliberalizing reforms against which the farmers’ movement struggled] were a result of the dictates of such meetings.

Even now, the [farmers’ movement’s] demands pertaining to the legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP), the state purchase of crops, and the legal guarantee of the Public Distribution System (PDS) stand in direct contradiction to the dictates of the WTO. Indian rulers have already committed there, in writing, not to guarantee MSP, and the coming meeting is destined to bring more of the same.

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India’s Farmers Win On Many Fronts, Media Fails On All

Farmers of all kinds, men and women – including from Adivasi and Dalit communities – played a crucial role in this country’s struggle for freedom. And in the 75th year of our Independence, the farmers at Delhi’s gates reiterated the spirit of that great struggle.

Prime Minister Modi has announced he is backing off and repealing the farm laws in the upcoming winter session of Parliament starting on the 29th of this month. He says he is doing so after failing to persuade ‘a section of farmers despite best efforts’.  Just a section, mind you, that he could not convince to accept that the three discredited farm laws were really good for them. Not a word on, or for, the over 600 farmers who have died in the course of this historic struggle.

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This Victory Gives Confidence For Future Struggles

On 19 November 2021, a week before the first anniversary of the farmers’ revolt, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi surrendered. He accepted that the three laws on agricultural markets that had been pushed through the parliament in 2020 would be repealed. The farmers of India had won. The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), one of the organisers of the protest movement, celebrated the triumph and declared that ‘this victory gives more confidence for future struggles’.

Many pressing struggles remain, including the fight for a law to guarantee a minimum support price that is one and a half times the cost of production for all crops of all farmers. The failure to address this, the AIKS notes, ‘aggravated the agrarian crisis and led to the suicide of over [400,000] farmers in the last 25 years’.

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Salute To India’s Farmers! A Big Win For Peoples’ Power!

In a big win for India’s protesting farmers, who were leading a historic agitation for nearly a year, the Government of India – on the 19th of November – announced the repeal of three controversial farm laws that threatened to corporatize the country’s agricultural sector. It is an inspirational account of what peoples’ power can achieve even in the most adverse conditions.

The Indian farmers’ protest, one of the largest mobilizations in recent history, completes a year on 26th November 2021. In the course of this historic protest, peasants and workers have braved harsh winters, heavy rains, brutal crackdowns and a wave of campaigns that tried to criminalize, imprison, defame and delegitimize the protestors and their supporters.

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Indian Farmers Defend The Rights Of Farmers Everywhere

On November 19, 2021, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi said, “[W]e have decided to repeal all three agricultural laws.” The prime minister was referring to the three agriculture laws that were rushed through the parliament in 2020. During his speech to announce the rollback, Modi told the farmers that they “should return to [their] homes, fields and to [their] families. Let’s make a fresh start.” At no point did Modi admit that his government had passed laws that would negatively impact the farmers, who have spent a year protesting the laws thrust upon them.

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Indian Government Forced To Withdraw Farm Laws

After fighting for almost a year, farmers in India finally won a victory against the three farms laws enacted by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government last year. Prime minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday, November 19, that the three laws would be repealed and all legal processes related to the matter will be completed during the upcoming session of parliament.

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Farmers In Solidarity With Striking Workers

It’s going to be a very good year for the top dogs and shareholders at Deere & Co. The Iowa-based equipment manufacturer says it earned more in the first nine months of its fiscal year than during its best year in 2013. The corporation’s third-quarter results are nearly $4.7 billion. John May, the company’s CEO, made over $14.7 million in total compensation in 2020. Reports are that his salary increased 160 percent during the pandemic while laid-off manufacturing workers saw ​“incentive” pay cut. 

On October 14, 10,000 unionized skilled manufacturing employees at Deere & Co. initiated their right to bargain by rejecting the contract put forth by management and going on strike. Does it surprise anyone that skilled workers went on strike after the company agreed to bump pay by little more than $1 per hour over the next 6 years?

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Migrant Farmworkers Are Being Left Out Of Roundup Cancer Compensation

In 2018, a California school groundskeeper took Monsanto Company to court, alleging that Roundup, one of America’s most popular weed killers, caused his Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer. The jury agreed and ordered Monsanto to pay the man $289 million in damages, concluding the world’s first Roundup cancer trial. Legal experts say migrant farmworkers, who are at the forefront of pesticide and herbicide exposures—including Roundup—are expected to be left out.

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Women Hold Up More Than Half The Sky

The farmers’ protests, which began in October 2020, are a sign of the clarity with which farmers have reacted to the agrarian crisis and to the three laws that will only deepen the crisis. No attempt by the government – including trying to incite farmers along religious lines – has succeeded in breaking the farmers’ unity. There is a new generation that has learned to resist, and they are prepared to take their fight across India.

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First Farmworker Union Forms In New York State

Twelve workers at a Long Island vineyard became the first agricultural workers to form part of a labor union in New York State. On Sept. 27, the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) certified Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW, to represent these workers, who are employed at Pindar Vineyards in Peconic, New York.

“My coworkers at Pindar and I joined Local 338 because we want dignity and respect. Our work should be valued and only by receiving equal treatment and things like sick days and paid time off to spend with our loved ones will it be,” Rodolfo M., Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW member and worker at Pindar Vineyards, said in a statement. “We know that being a union member will help us get the recognition we deserve for all of our efforts.”

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India Farmer Protests Shut Down Main Roads As ‘National Strike’ Called

Thousands of Indian farmers blocked traffic on major roads and railway lines in the national capital Delhi on Monday as they marked one year since the passage of the federal government’s contentious agricultural laws.

The farmers called for a nationwide strike to renew their protests against the “black laws” that they believe will bring an end to their livelihood, demonstrations that first began 10 months ago. The government says the changes will benefit farmers, but unions fear they could take away the protections provided by state-run markets.

“The strike was observed in several parts of the country from Kerala in the south to West Bengal in the east,” Hannan Mollah, general secretary of the All Indian Kisan Sabha, told The Independent. “Farmers in Maharashtra, Telangana, Tripura and Bihar also took part in the strike.”

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Indian Farmers’ Struggle: The Past Ten Months

As farmers and workers in India observe a countrywide shutdown, here is a look at the past 10 months of the struggle against the three agricultural laws passed by the Narendra Modi government.

On September 27, Indian farmers’ organizations and trade unions are holding a country-wide shutdown demanding the withdrawal of the three agricultural laws and other anti-farmer and anti-worker measures. We take a look at the key milestones of the past 10 months of the farmers’ struggle.

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Farmers And Civil Society Reject Corporate UN Food Systems Summit

The World Economic Forum and Gates Foundation are convening a food summit through the United Nations on September 23. Global farmer, peasant and fishing coalitions have called a boycott of the summit for its pro-corporate agenda, refusal to include the human right to food and exclusion of the intergovernmental body, the Committee on World Food Security, that has created an inclusive and democratized international structure. Clearing the FOG speaks with Patti Naylor, a family farmer in Iowa who works on agroecology and food sovereignty. She is on the board of Family Farm Defenders and a member of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance. Naylor describes the failures of the current global food system, how it is unprepared for the crises we are experiencing and that will occur and why it is headed in a dangerous direction. She talks about the global fight to change the food system to one that is flexible enough to respond to crises and that protects and restores the environment. 

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Indian Farmers’ Protest Completes 200 Days

Early January this year, while responding to a journalist’s query about the perseverance displayed by India’s farmers even after several rounds of failed negotiations with the Government of India, Rakesh Tikait of Bhartiya Kisan Union had evoked the everyday struggle of a peasant in the field.

“Resilience is in our blood. Every year after sowing seeds, we wait patiently for months on end to reap the harvest. It is back-breaking work in difficult conditions. Often, a drought or an untimely hailstorm wreaks it all and smashes all our hopes for a better yield and income. Yet, we persist. We do not give up. We do not run away. Come winter, and we plant again. In one village of Rajasthan, my people have waited 12 long years for rains. Farmers are the epitome of patience. Our farm is our life.

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